Another beautiful Buffalo Saturday morning – it is 7:30am on a glorious sunny summer day right here next to the Delaware Park Rose Garden, just across the street from the Albright Knox Art Gallery. The 2009 Susan G Komen race and activities are still hours away, but a new Roswell Park Cancer Institute event runs here simultaneously – the Spit for the Cure (cure for cancer that is).
At the special booth set up for this event, the process involves collecting saliva samples, from which DNA is extracted, from many hundreds of participants. You have to be 18 years old, and able to answer a questionnaire about your health (taken home with you to fill it out, and mail it back with postage paid in advance.) Oh, and provide a small saliva sample, a Spit for the Cure. That’s all there is to it!
What in the world is DBBR anyway?
The data and samples will become part of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute’s DBBR, and used for cancer research. One of only a few resources of its kind in the country, the DBBR stores health information and specimen data from people with and without cancer. DBBR actually means Data Bank and BioRepository.
It provides researchers with a rich source of data that may reveal why some people develop cancer and others do not. Comparing people with cancer against people without cancer can help identify specific risk factors or genetic characteristics that could open the door to better ways of preventing cancer and detecting it earlier, where it can be treated more effectively. What better place to gather this type of information than right here today at the Race for the Cure, where so many are close by at one time, so it is easier to collect samples!
For those worried about privacy and security concerns, it may interest you to know that only researchers who have Roswell Park Research Institute approved studies are allowed access to DBBR data, which is identified only by a number. Your name and personal identifying information will never be released to a researcher, nor is it shared with employers, insurance companies, families or friends. This movement can help uncover the many mysteries of cancer.
I met Dr. Christine Ambrosone while she was spearheading the event. I saw her at the front lines, answering questions, and assisting participants with issues that came up. I also met Gregoy Ciupak, who is the point person if you want any more information about the event. For any further questions he can also be reached at 716.845.3373.
For more on the Race for the Cure, check back at BRO for my upcoming post. For my post about a previous race, please see Buffalo Corporate Challenge a Rush.